Since Covid-19 isn't going away any time soon and restaurants continue to stress alternative options to dining in, we'll bring you each week a roundup of takeout dinners recently enjoyed by dining editor Timothy Malcolm. 

Niko Niko's

The cold front is coming, or at least that's what the experts are saying. With that in mind, I've been on the prowl for some outstanding soups lately, and the avgolemono hits the spot. Usually a lemon and egg soup, the Niko Niko's version eschews the egg (apparently the family recipe is egg-less) for a brighter and lighter cup that lets the citrus shine. But also, this soup is packed with shredded chicken and short-grain rice, making all other chicken and rice soups kneel before it. The avgolemono is perfect for cooler days (read: temperatures in the 80s). 

Maine-ly Sandwiches

Speaking of soups, a warm bowl of spoon-coating New England clam chowder (or lobster bisque if that's your preference) can be had at this local tribute to Maine. If you're feeling a bit more summery, aim for the fried clam belly roll. The crispy strips are loaded into a hoagie roll with shredded streamers of lettuce and a generous swipe of what seems to be tangy tartar sauce. Additional tartar comes on the side and you might want to use it. This is premium indulgence.

Les Noo'dle

You can't anticipate cold weather without diving into a steaming bowl of pho, and it's hard to beat Les Noo'dle's pho bo (beef noodle soup). I needed serious comfort one recent Friday, so it was filet in a bowl of 24-hour broth with al dente noodles and all the sides. The broth, salty but sweet and very drinkable, relaxed me, while I had a blast tossing in bean sprouts, Thai basil, jalapeños, and squirts of lime. A little chile oil to spice it up further, and I couldn't have picked a better dish of comfort food.

Tacos La Bala

Give it up for this local chain of tacos, tortas, quesadillas, and burritos. When I want a quick taco, I can rely on this standby with eight locations, most of which are between the 610 Loop and the Tollway. Give me de trompo with its sweet chunks of pineapple and musky barbacoa. For breakfast, two bacon, egg, and cheese tacos go down quickly and keep me running. 

Watershed

This gastropub-style restaurant has been on my radar for some time, but my recent move to the Westbury area made it a lot easier to experience this spot near the intersection of Post Oak Road and Bellfort Avenue. I'm impressed by the beer list, which balances local fare (a Brash here, a Klaus there) with slightly harder-to-find craft from across the country. The food is equally impressive, including tasty sandwiches like smoked turkey; sauerkraut; Swiss cheese on rye; and a stacked burger with onion, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. Super casual and family friendly with a few picnic tables outside, Watershed is fast becoming my family's favorite spot for weekend lunch.